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UniQuest to showcase biotech innovations

By Oliver Milman
Friday, 24 June 2011

Research commercialisation company UniQuest will showcase 50 innovations on behalf of Australian universities at an international biotechnology event being held in the United States later this month.


UniQuest, established by the University of Queensland in 1984, specialises in global technology transfer and granting access to world-class university expertise, IP and facilities.


With an IPO portfolio of more than 1,500 patents, UniQuest has created more than 60 companies. Since 2000, UniQuest and its start-ups have raised more than $400 million to take university technologies to market.


The organisation is now gearing up to attend the 2011 BIO International Convention, held in Washington from June 27-30, where it will actively promote 50 Australian innovations on behalf of Australian universities.


Innovations include cancer therapies, medical devices, autoimmune disease therapies, drug delivery platforms, diabetes treatments and neuropathic pain targets.


David Henderson, managing director of UniQuest, says BIO is a key meeting place for all industries involved in life sciences, with the event expected to attract 15,000 industry leaders from more than 60 countries.


“BIO is also a key meeting place for venture capital and private equity firms looking to invest in groundbreaking technologies – it’s one of the most important events we attend every year,” Henderson says.


“We will be talking to a wide range of representatives from major international biotech and pharmaceutical companies about licensing university-based technologies and about working with our researchers.”


Between meetings, the UniQuest team will man a booth in the Australia pavilion, where an innovation portfolio will be showcased on a TV and in the latest edition of UniQuest’s technology newsletter, The Deal Sheet.


Previous UniQuest start-ups include biopharmaceutical venture QRxPharma Limited, which listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in May 2007 and made history as Australia’s biggest biotechnology float.


QRxPharma recently announced the successful completion of phase-three trials of its patented pain management product.


Another UniQuest start-up, ImpediMed Limited, closed oversubscribed when it listed on the ASX and as a publicly-listed company in September 2007.


It recently became the first company to offer FDA, CE and TGA-cleared L-Dex devices for simple point-of-care, standardised and objective metrics to aid in the clinical assessment of lymphoedema.


On a local front, Melbourne Business School has partnered with the Federal Government to deliver Leadership 21, a program designed to help small business owners adjust to a low-carbon economy.


According to Innovation Minister Kim Carr, the nine-month program is designed to help Australian firms transform their production processes as the nation seeks to reduce its carbon footprint.


“The course will be responsive to the needs of participants by taking into account individual business needs,” Senator Carr said in a statement.

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